The courtesy train of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS) stopped at the Olupo’s Palace at Ajase-Ipo in Irepodun Local Government Area on 2 June 2016. The Executive Chairman, KW-IRS, Dr. Muritala Awodun led the KW-IRS delegates to connect with the blessings of the Olupo of Ajase-Ipo, Oba, Alhaji. Sikiru Atanda Sanni Ilufemiloye Woleola II. Speaking at the palace, Dr Awodun gave an overview of the functions of KW-IRS as established by the Kwara State Revenue Administration Law No. 6 of 22 June 2015.

He was full of appreciation of the Olupo for receiving the KW-IRS team in his palace. He made reference to the importance of blessings of elders for accomplishment in any task especially a State task which the KW-IRS management and staff are undertaking. He explained the need for KW-IRS to seek the support of the people of Ajase-Ipo for effortless revenue collection in their community especially as it relates to the 2 major markets domicile in Ajase-Ipo with the Kara market being the biggest.

Dr Awodun made it clear that his team is open to the advice of the Oba on the mode of revenue collection for Ajase-Ipo because KW-IRS always bears in mind the peculiarity of every community within the State. He quickly shed light on the reason why KW-IRS took over the collection responsibility of the Local Governments. This he said was to resolve the challenge of multiple taxation through the harmonization of revenue collection. This was done with the consent of all the Local Government Chairmen by a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

In his opening address, the Olupo of Ajase-Ipo gladly received the KW-IRS team. He gave kudos to the management of KW-IRS for deeming it necessary to pay a visit to Ajase-Ipo town. The Oba categorically said that there is no comparison between the Kara market and the regular market in Ajase-Ipo because the Kara market is the initiative of the people of Ajase-Ipo which dates back to the reign of his late father.

The Olupo stated that KW-IRS can only collect revenue on the cows that are brought into the market. He stressed that the cows going out of Ajase-Ipo town as a result of purchase is for the development of Ajase-Ipo town and its people. He decried the level of development at Ajase-Ipo Kara market despite the great contribution of the town to the economic development of the State because the market is the most patronised Kara market in the State and have its market day operational every 5 days. This implies that people from all over the country come to Ajase-Ipo every market day to sell or buy cow at the Ajase-Ipo Kara market.

Oba, Alhaji. Sikiru Atanda Sanni Ilufemiloye Woleola II further complained about the lack of basic amenities at the Kara market. He requested the State Government to provide palliatives at the Kara market in terms of perimeter fencing, water and ultra-modern toilet facility. He explained that since government collects revenue from the market, it should use the funds to develop it. He lamented on losses incurred weekly at the Ajase-Ipo Kara market because some of the cows brought for sale run away due to lack of perimeter fencing. The Oba, (current and previous), or the Chairman, Butcher’s Association of Ajase-Ipo who is also the architect of the Ajase-Ipo Kara market have had to pay for the cost of missing cow from their pocket.

The Olupo however advised the Executive Chairman, KW-IRS to allow the Iyaloja and Babaloja of the Ajase-Ipo market to assist collect the revenue for the Kara market and the regular market on behalf of KW-IRS. According to him, the major people in the Kara market are the Hausa people who are renowned in the cattle business. He explained that the language barrier may hinder effective collection from the market.

The Chairman, Butchers Association, Alhaji Omo Okunola, a co-founder of the Kara market in conjunction with the late Olupo of Ajase, the father of the present Olupo of Ajase-Ipo, in his address to the KW-IRS team emphasized the need for the Kara market to be urgently fenced He also revealed that water supply is a huge challenge at the market especially now that the two wells dug by the community are completely dry.

The Executive Chairman, KW-IRS in his response promised to convey the request of HRM, Olupo of Ajase-Ipo land and that of the people to His Excellency. He explained that, the law that constituted KW-IRS also empowered it to advice the State Government of the pressing needs of the people as it relates to different communities. He also shed light on the Community Impact Project (CIP) which is conducted monthly by the KW-IRS with the purpose of giving back to the society in its own little way. He mentioned some of such projects already conducted which are: the clearing of Ipata market abattoir, the cleaning of Alapa market, and the provision of ultra-modern toilet at Ago-market, among others. He further promised that the Service will also impact on the Ajase-Ipo Kara Market.

The KW-IRS delegates took a tour round the Kara market to gain insight into suggestions to the State Government using its feedback privilege. On getting to the Kara Market, the Executive Chairman, KW-IRS engaged the Seriki Kara (Head of the Kara market) in a discussion to hear his own view as the head of the market. The summation of Seriki Kara was not different from that of the Olupo of Ajase-Ipo land, the Iyaloja and that of Alhaji Okunola. Dr Awodun again reassured the community of his commitment to passing their message to the Executive Governor.

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